Community College Prereqs

Can anyone give reliable information about whether it makes a difference taking your post bacc prereqs at a university vs a community college? Thank you!

The general consensus on here is usually:

  1. Avoid community college when possible.

  2. Discuss the topic with the med schools you plan to attend to get their opinion on community college pre-reqs. Keep in mind that while the standard line at a med school might be that community colleges are given a fair look, you are still being compared side-by-side with many students who completed all their courses at 4-year institutions.

    My choice was to take Physics, Biology, and Chemistry at a community college, and then follow up with Organic Chemistry and some upper level Biology courses at a four-year institution before taking the MCAT in the summer of 2011.

    Best wishes to you!


I talked to some advisors and even though they cannot tell you not to take your classes at community colleges, they all literally frowned at the mention of it. At least your sciences you should take at the best college you have time/money to attend. That’s what pretty much everybody advised me to do. Good luck!

As you can see, there is a generally negative attitude about pre-reqs taken at CC’s, which didn’t deter me. Having taken general and organic chem at the CC level, I was actually at a distinct advantage in that as part of the honors program, my classes were more rigorous than the equivalent classes (so many years ago that I was advised to repeat them) at Rutgers, a well-respected state school. Perhaps it was my mindset, but I learned chemistry well enough to tutor students from prestigious schools like Columbia and NYU. I practically slept through physical chemistry after transferring from said CC because I had a solid background in chemisty.

I’ll admit that the biology courses I took (for the first time) at said CC were awful…it was fairly easy to get an A, even though there was no curve. I averaged over a 97 average purely based on exams that were straight out of the textbook. Maybe I just studied hard enough, but I still suspect that I would have struggled harder in the state school that I transferred to last year. My A’s in upper-level classes like cell and cancer biology and biochemistry have been much harder to attain, and I think I might have been better prepared for physiology if I had taken bio II here.

That said, I truly believe that it really makes no difference where you do your pre-reqs, as long as you can prove their worth on the MCAT. Take your pre-reqs wherever it makes sense, but be honest with yourself about how well they prepared you for the next step, and supplement your learning either with self-study or upper-level classes.

Strongly encourage you to see (and do) #2 above! :slight_smile:

Oftentimes on the forum (and any forum) people offer advice for what they hope will be the truth rather than what, in fact, is. Your best bet will be to find out from the schools in which you’re interested what, indeed, their thoughts are about the prospect–in other words, from the horse’s mouth. :slight_smile:

While well-intentioned, our thoughts are not a replacement for hearing what schools think, especially on a topic like this which tends to have some element of emotion tied to many responses.

Best of luck!

thank you guys- appreciate your responses & good wishes!